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‘Ansarullah now eying madrasa students’


Newsworldbd.com -24.05.2015

Radical Islamist outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, currently under government’s consideration for banning for suspected links to the killing of secular activists, is now inviting madrasa students and those involved with Islami Chhatra Shibir to increase strength, police say.safe_image

Earlier, Ansarullah leaders had recruited many tech savvy students of public and private universities.

Police say they are monitoring the activities of the outfit’s members on different websites and Facebook to trace their location. But no significant progress have been made since the August 2013 arrest of Ansarullah chief Jasim Uddin Rahmani and 31 of his followers.

Seven leaders and activists of the group are now facing trial for the killing of war crimes trial campaigner Ahmed Rajeeb Haider. They all are expelled students of the North South University.

Detectives say Ansarullah follows international terrorist groups Al-Qaeda and Taliban to establish Shariah law in Bangladesh. They have also been working with Chhatra Shibir, Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, and banned militant groups including Huji, JMB and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Police say Ansarullah has gained support from different radical Islamist groups which are vocal against “atheists for their anti-Islamic activities” after the recent killing of science writers and Rajshahi University teacher Prof AKM Shafiul Islam.

Some Ansarullah leaders are now visiting madrasas in Dhaka and the nearby areas, and inviting students to join the outfit, a top police officer said seeking anonymity.

According to sources in law enforcement agencies, the outfit is trying to take as members the students, especially those involved with Chhatra Shibir, who possess extreme views against secular forces.

Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the Detective Branch of police, said Ansarullah might have around 100 technologically-sound members from among students of some of the renowned educational institutions.

“Recently, we have got information that Ansarullah has recruited some madrasa students,” said Monirul, also chief of DB police that deals with militant issue.

Investigators have found the involvement of madrasa students and Chhatra Shibir members in the Ashulia bank heist when eight people including a robber were killed.

Police have so far arrested seven people for their alleged involvement with the robbery and killings.

SM Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman, deputy inspector general of police’s Dhaka range, said among the arrestees, four had completed studies from madrasas and were involved with Chhatra Shibir. “But in the incident, they worked for a certain militant group.”

A high official of district police investigating the incident confirmed that Ansarullah was involved with the robbery.

After the arrest of Rahmani, the outfit was led by Redwanul Azad Rana, a charge-sheeted accused in Rajeeb murder case and suspected planner of Avijit Roy killing. But detectives say he has already fled the country.

Markazul Uloom Al-Islamia Madrasa at Basila in Mohammadpur expelled Rahmani from the post of chairman of the management committee after his arrest. Jasim in his confessional statement mentioned that the students inspired by his sermons might have killed Rajeeb.

His sermons are still available on websites and Facebook.

Investigators believe that secular activist Oyasiqur Rahman Babu and science writer Ananta Bijoy Das were also killed by Ansarullah members. They use sleeper cells to conduct killings and use coded messages for communication.

In a latest development, an anonymous group believed to be Ansarullah issued death threats to 10 noted citizens of the country including an adviser to the prime minister and a lawmaker. DB officials are investigating the matter to find the people behind it.

The Police Headquarters recently sent a letter to the Home Ministry seeking ban on the outfit. Sources in the ministry said the government is likely to impose ban on the group shortly through a circular.

– See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/may/24/ansarullah-now-eying-madrasa-students#sthash.Dbl2dmXC.dpuf




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